Author Topic: Seeking Beta Readers: Our Funeral:Flash Fiction TW:Suicide,Murder,Mental Illness  (Read 195 times)

Offline Johnry Silverio

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He used to always be there for me—now he’s not. It’s been three years. Putting back dad’s photo frame on my desk, I pause. He’s here. Changing out of my pajamas, I head out my apartment.

The bell jingled as I entered. Scent of roasted coffee beans wafted the room. Not here yet? I picked a table by the window, waiting.

“May I take your order?” A waiter asked.

Surprised, my body jumped.

“A cafe latte’s fine,”

“Nervous?” he asked. “Waiting for someone?”

“I am,”

“Good luck then!”

“Thanks,”

It’s been too long since we met. The door’s bell chimed again—my neck stretched to peek. It’s them, but with a guy?

They sat, and we exchanged pleasantries. Minutes later, I find myself in disbelief. Slamming the table, I stood.

“Are you joking?” I shouted.

“Wait, honey,”

“No, mom!”

“Honey, I can explain,”

Leering at the man, I left. My head ached, another migraine? At home, I took my pills. Dad greeted me. Nursing is a tough course, seeing things are normal. Tired, I plopped myself onto my bed.

After days of mulling over what happened, facing mom again would be best. Before leaving, the whispers returned. I gazed at the kitchen.

I knocked.

“Mom?” I said. “Are you home?”

Surprised of my visit, mom said, “Agatha? You never told me you’re visiting!”

I smiled, “If I did, it won’t be a surprise.”

Mom led me to the dinner table. Seated, I pulled my handbag on my lap.

“Hungry, honey?” she asked.

“Cookies” I said.

They’re silent today. Mom grabbed a jar of cookies, placing it on our table, and she asked.

“This concerns him, isn’t it?”

I stared her in the eye, glancing at the floor right after. Taking a cookie from the jar, voices began their murmurs.

“It’s sudden, but he’s a good guy,” mom seated, clasping her hands. “He wants the chance to know you,”

They were restless. I glanced at the kitchen counter—dad watching. Doubt wells inside me, like a tub overflowing with water. My mouth opened, but the words elude me. Closing my eyes, I glanced once more. He’s no longer there. I munched on my cookie.

“Honey, are you ok?”

“I’m fine,”

“How’s school? Any friends?”

My mind jumbled on the query. The voices making it more painful to think, they’re louder now, and darker. My heart raced. My body stiffened.

“Phone,” I said. “It’s ringing,”

Mom motioned her knuckles on her chin, gazing at her phone. She swiped the screen and looked at me—puzzled. “Did you not sleep well, honey?” she worried.

She ignored it. I snatched her phone, skimming through her contacts.

“Honey?”

The voices speak to me, indescribable, yet I understand. She’s suspicious since that day.

“You killed dad,” I said. “You’re an assassin, a murderer, a liar!”

Shocked, mom rushed towards me. “Honey! Are you alright?” The voices are louder, they sound like screaming, but they’re not. Blood rushes in my veins and in euphoria—seizing the knife in my bag. Pointed at her, smiling, but not wanting to.

Charging at her and slitting her wind pipe—her inaudible shrieks echoing in my ears. She gripped her neck, attempting to stop the bleeding. Struggling, she stumbled, her eyes blackened in terror as blood smeared her clothes.

Falling numb, her struggle ceased, and I sat on her. Stabbing through the neck’s sides, blood spurted, spilling—painting me red in murder.

Moments passed.

Squatting, tears streamed my chin. The voices return, but now—deafening.

Dad’s here.

He held out his hand. Taking it—his warmth reminds me. I miss it—I need it.

“Can I be with you?”

Dad didn’t answer. He let go and walked out. He’s leaving me. With keys gripped tight, I left. It’s dark out, just like that day. Except this time, he won’t leave me. Clutching tissues from my car drawer, wiping my hands clean, I drove off to meet him.
 
Later, under the moonlight on his grave.

We floated away together.

After months, there was a burial.

It was a scorching afternoon. Mindless chatter, rumors like wildfire—all halt at the eulogy. Sorry. We should have gotten through that day side by side. Should have asked for help.

I held their hands tight. We could have avoided our funeral.


Offline PIJ1951

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It's not a bad read, but it needs work. The plot progression is jerky in places - sentence fragments and sudden leaps from one moment in time or location to another make the narrative seem unco-ordinated. Some of these switches are extremely clumsy.

Quote
. . . I head out my apartment.
The bell jingled as I entered. . .

and

Quote
. . . I gazed at the kitchen.
I knocked.
“Mom?” I said. “Are you home?”. . .

You also change verb tense for no apparent reason.

Quote
They sat, PAST and we exchanged PAST pleasantries. Minutes later, I find PRESENT myself in disbelief. Slamming the table, I stood PAST.

I glanced PAST at the kitchen counter—dad watching. Doubt wells PRESENT inside me, like a tub overflowing with water. My mouth opened PAST, but the words elude PRESENT me.


This has potential, but you seem to be in a rush. The dialogue is so cryptic it serves no purpose. My advice, for what it's worth, spend more time on the setting and your characters before committing your story to paper. As a short-hand exercise in identifying the main plot points it works, but not as a meaningful reading experience.

Offline Johnry Silverio

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  • I love stories so I tried writing
Hello PIJ1951

Thank you for the feedback! I didn't notice my transitions were so bad, so I thank you for pointing them out. Will fix my tenses and the dialogue as well to the best I can.

I'll also think more on ways to develop my setting and the character like you said. I do agree with you that I was in a rush. I'll make it a habit to think before I write in the future.

May I also ask what makes the dialogue cryptic for you as well as what makes a meaningful reading experience in your opinion? And if there were any parts that you liked or disliked in the story, can you point them out and tell me why?

Thank you for your feedback PIJ1951! It means a lot.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 09:04:08 PM by John Silverio »